By Rachel Hill

One of the things I’ve been working on over the past few years is finding ways to cope with my anxiety. Honestly, I’ve probably always been a little anxious, even as a kid. But that definitely got worse after dealing with some traumatic events in my life.

After a year or two of just kind of sitting with this feeling, or drowning it out by over-boozing at social outings or burying myself in work, I wanted to find a healthier way to cope.

So I began my fitness journey about seven years ago now and haven’t looked back! Over time, my fitness routine has changed and evolved, and I am excited to share a few things I do that will hopefully help you tackle any anxiety you may be feeling and just generally make you feel better!

All-or-Nothing Mentality

So when I first started working out, I dove right into the deep end by doing an at-home program from a company called Beach Body. The 60-day program, called Insanity, was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life! I went in with an all-or-nothing mentality and made the commitment to get the workouts done every day, even if that meant getting up early. Between the program and dietary changes (which I’ll get into in another post), I ended up losing over 40 pounds!

Now I know this isn’t for everyone! So now that I’m a little further along in this journey, I just want to urge people to go at their own pace. There are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to getting in a workout. There may be kids in the picture, health issues, work obligations, etc. While a lot of navigating these things has to do with the mindset, it’s really about little things. Take a quick walk, search “10-minute workouts” on YouTube — whatever works for you!

Being Present

On days I don’t feel like lifting hard at the gym, I love just walking on a trail near my home with my husband and our dog. And research shows that taking time out to exercise helps boost mood and reduces the risk of depression. Honestly, I have so many thoughts running through my head that exercise helps me focus my thoughts and be present and ultimately feel better and more relaxed at the end of the day.